Thursday, October 10, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Dwight Smith

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Dwight's painting, "Spoon Holder with Egg" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing his interview.

From Dwight's DPW Gallery page:

Inspired by the still life paintings of Wayne Thiebauld, and the collective works of Edward Hopper, this native of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, now residing on Florida's West Coast, has been an active watercolor artist since he earned his BFA degree in 1980 from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio.

Dwight finds inspiration for his paintings from his faith in God and his relationship with Jesus Christ, who allows him to see art in ordinary objects that make up our lives everyday. Dwight's paintings and illustrations are in a realist style and most have a narrative story to tell.

When he isn't painting watercolors or creating pen and ink illustrations, Dwight enjoys life with his wife, step son, and Bandit the Boxer.

Original watercolor paintings and pen & ink illustrations are also available in greeting cards and note cards at: http://www.zazzle.com/dsmithoriginalart

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I began painting in junior high school. I painted landscapes mostly using acrylic paint. Always in the realist style. I always enjoyed painting and knew that was what I wanted to do.

Spoon Holder with Egg
(click to see original image)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the home page announcing Dwight's interview.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Years ago I walked into an art gallery with a portfolio, got representation, and started selling. Life happens and a lot of time passed without painting anything. My wife encouraged me to paint. Once an artist, always an artist is what she says. Along came our first computer and my first web site was born. I really got excited about the possibility of world wide exposure.

Good Location
(click to see original image)

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love exploring all the possibilities of watercolor but I also enjoy pen & ink from time to time.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away? Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

After art school, I spent time at an ad agency and realized very quickly this wasn't for me. I shifted to watercolors (self taught, by the way; never being formally trained in art school with this medium) because I liked the look and feel of it on paper. After college, I threw out all other mediums to paint with. Literally, I threw them out. I love watercolors.

Balance and Grace
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you?

My family inspires me. Food inspires me a great deal. My dog. I inherited being a foodie from my parents.

I use food as main themes in my still life watercolors. I like humor mixed in. Why does everything have to be so serious? Also, light and shadow. I think every artist says that inspires them, and it is true.

What does procrastination look like for you? What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

It isn't self procrastination that keeps me from painting. It 's life and all the other small stuff that keeps me from painting. That's frustrating. No specific technique, nothing is written in stone. I grab whatever time I can to paint. My wife says whether five minutes or an hour, it all counts.

The Spaten Nest
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

Ideas come from my surroundings and how I was raised. My family and I brainstorm a lot. I grew up on the east coast of Maryland near the Atlantic Ocean. My parents, brother and I would fish, clam, garden, and even drive to the surrounding states just to get good food and or eat. My parents would hear of an orchard hours from where we lived and we would drive there just for that. Food was very important. I realized not too long that food was going to be my main theme in most of my work.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

'Fresh' to me is not becoming a 'themed artist'. I can't paint the same topic over and over again.

Milk and Cookies
(click to see original image)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I am more relaxed now than thirty years ago. In the past, it seemed to be how accurate I could come to replicating an object. Now, I feel it is spiritual. It's fun and freeing to be able to put an idea on paper.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Comments from viewers. A sale :) My wife says, seeing art in card form. She loves greeting cards. :)

Thanks, Dwight!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

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